Best Cities to Live and Work from CareerCast

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If you are trying to figure out where you can live and work to get the most bang for your buck, CareerCast.com has 10 suggestions: Austin, TXColumbus, OHDurham, NCFt. Worth, TXHouston, TXLincoln, NEMidland, TXPittsburgh, PATucson, AZ; and Wausau, WI.

Whether a recent college grad, or somebody looking for high paying careers in metropolitan areas with a low cost of living, CareerCast’s Best Places to Live and Work report is a guide showing some of the best places to consider.

“The income a candidate can command is contingent on availability of jobs in a specific region,” says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. “For example, the San Francisco Bay Area – which ranks behind only New York City for average cost of living – might be your best value if you work in computer science.”

Specific industries are best in certain regions.  For instance, Houston ranks in the top 10 nationally for average income for jobs spanning different sectors, like business (senior-level corporate executive); energy (petroleum engineer); and transportation (airline pilot). Meanwhile, the city’s average cost of living is 1% below the national average.

In the Lone Star State, there are attractive locations in terms of pay, diversity of career options, and living expense. Austin and Midland have cost-of-living averages 6% and 3% below the national average. The Fort WorthArlington metropolitan area is right at the national average, and ranks in the top 10 of average salary for three of the Jobs Rated report’s 35 highest-paying jobs: psychiatrist, actuary and veterinarian.

Cities with major universities are also great places to live and work. Lincoln, Nebraska (University of Nebraska-Lincoln); Tucson, Arizona (University of Arizona); Columbus, Ohio (The Ohio State University); and Durham, North Carolina (Duke University and North Carolina Central University) all appear in the Top 10, as well as Austin, home to the University of Texas. All have below-average cost-of-living expenses, and each ranks in highly-paid Jobs Rated careers.

CareerCast’s 10 Best Cities to Live and Work:

City

% Below Nat’l

Cost of Living

Median Household

Income

Unemployment

Rate

Austin, TX

-6%

$63,603

2.9%

Columbus, OH

-10%

$56,371

3.8%

Durham, NC

-8%

$51,988

4.2%

Ft. Worth Metro, TX

0%

$52,430

3.5%

Houston, TX

-1%

$60,072

4.8%

Lincoln, NE

-10%

$52,046

2.5%

Midland, TX

-3%

$77,574

4.3%

Pittsburgh, PA

-4%

$52,293

5.7%

Tucson, AZ

-2%

$45,856

5%

Wausau, WI

-9%

$53,300

3.4%